Warner Bros.’ recent decision to premiere its entire 2021 film slate on HBO Max day-and-date with theaters has led to some bitterness between the studio and a few filmmakers with movies coming out this year. However, it also set the stage for potential legal battles as well. Ever since the streaming deal was announced last month, there have been whispers about a possible lawsuit against the studio by Legendary Pictures, who co-financed two of WB’s biggest 2021 tentpoles: Dune and Godzilla vs. Kong. But fortunately, it sounds like these issues are getting resolved outside of a courtroom.
The Hollywood Reporter claims that the studios are close to reaching a deal over Godzilla vs. Kong’s release. Legendary reportedly put up 75% of the budget for that film along with 75% of the budget for Dune. Both movies come with price tags over $150 million. With this, it’s easy to see why Legendary is concerned with how the films’ HBO Max debuts will affect its own share of the profits. But the new agreement will allow Godzilla vs. Kong to follow its current day-and-date release model.
That still leaves the matter of Dune, whose situation is said to be “more complicated.” Regardless, the studios are inching toward a deal over that movie’s release as well. Legendary is also backing director Denis Villieneuve’s demand to premiere the film exclusively in theaters this fall. This news comes nearly a month after Villeneuve lambasted the HBO Max deal in a scathing editorial published by Variety. Dune star Timothée Chalamet also appeared to side with Legendary when he wore a hoodie bearing the studio’s logo while hosting an episode of Saturday Night Live last month.
Godzilla vs. Kong will hit theaters and HBO Max on May 21. Dune will premiere on October 1.
Are you happy to hear that the studios are reaching new agreements over the films’ releases? Let us know in the comments down below!
Recommended Reading: The Art of Godzilla: King of the Monsters
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